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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas - 2009

Merry Christmas - 2009!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nonsensical Nickname Nominations…

Well, school is out until the first week in January. I managed to get four days subbing in for the whole month of December.

In my personal quest to curtail the tattling issue when school resumes, I need your help. Trying to play “Judge Judy” to determine who called who “booger brain” or said a “bad” word first is a losing proposition for all parties concerned. Having the offenders say “sorry” and shake hands just doesn’t do it for me.

Last May I gave two incensed little boys (it seems to be ALWAYS boys for some reason) my own nicknames they could call each other and sent them on their way.

Last update I received from “Ear Wax” was that he was still friends with “Nose Hair”. I haven’t been back to Toe Jam & Arm Pit’s school to see if it had the same success there.

It occurred to me that if this method of “bickering resolution” continues to be successful, I’m going to run out of pre-thought out nicknames to use. I suppose I can mix and match from my current list but I thought I’d solicit some additional candidates from my reading audience.

Remember, these are 6-11yr old boys but in case I have a situation with girls, lets keep it clean and gender neutral. Use the comments section for your “nonsensical nickname nomination” and I’ll append it to the list if I think I can use it.

My List So Far: (red ones are my favorite reader picks so far)
  • Nose Hair & Ear Wax
  • Toe Jam & Arm Pit
  • Chin Strap & Knee Cap (has a nice rhyme to it)
  • Elbow and Ear lobe (Thanks Ricochet!)
  • Toe Nail & Nose Bone (Thanks Mrs_Dem)

(…totally unacceptable submissions will be deleted. Let’s keep it clean)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Physical Education (PE)

I picked up surprise assignments for Thursday and Friday. It was a surprise because it was for one of the schools I rarely see on the sub system. In six years of subbing, I’ve been to this school exactly twice before.

I’m not sure when PE was instituted for class levels below middle school, but it was sometime after I last attended. In High School we had PE clothes to change into for class. You could get out of PE class if you had a medical excuse or you were a member of one of the sports teams. In all cases, PE meant you were supposed to exert yourself enough to soak your PE clothes with sweat.

From personal observation, PE means “Pathetic Enthusiasm” when it comes to any kind of organized exercises for elementary school kids. Even the obligatory final “take two laps” is taken at a leisurely walk by a good number of the kids.

When I was informed that, because of the rain, the PE class for my 4th graders would be held in the cafeteria/common room with the three other 4th grades I wasn’t expecting anything more than the usual “Pathetic Enthusiasm” of non-exercise.

I was wrong.

A sound system was rolled out and a video on the 12 foot projection screen started. “Tae Bo Kicks for Kids” had over a hundred 4th graders kicking, twisting, and moving to the beat. It was actually fun to watch them.

No, not all were in sync all the time, but at the end I did see more than a few sweat stains.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Must Be Nice…

I subbed two 5th grade classes on Monday & Tuesday this week. The first was a tough day, the second pretty easy.

Those were the only subbing days I’ve worked since the Thanksgiving break. Five days of vacation break followed by an additional seven days of no calls.

“Must be nice”, she said going out the door to work while I’m lounging in my PJ’s.

My wife has one of those regular jobs where they expect you to show up for work on a regular basis. She’s also into a ton of extra curricular, non-paying activities that most times make for some real long days away from the house.

She’s tired and stressed. She’s got too much to do and not enough time to do it all. I understand completely what she’s feeling. She’d like to have more time to herself. She’d like an unscheduled day, week or even a month off. I know I enjoy it!

I don’t have to ask for a day off or “get it approved” by anyone. I don’t need a reason. I don’t have to prepare for someone else to do my job for me in case I have to cancel at the last moment. It’s actually pretty stress free most of the time.

While regular teachers DO get a lot of time off, I get even more. I get the three months of summer plus 3-4 weeks during the school year for the scheduled holiday weeks. I also get any days that I can’t work due to personal commitments and days where I simply “don’t wanna go”. Add to that the days I don’t work because I’m not needed and it sometimes seems like I’m not working at all!

So when she says: “Must be nice”, I know I’m supposed to feel guilty. To assuage that guilt, I simply state that she could have all those same benefits (plus low pay) that I have. All she has to do is quit and start substitute teaching too!

But…she reads this blog and “must be nice” doesn’t much come to mind compared to her current job.